Biden announces Carolina offshore wind energy auction winner

Sale results in $315 million total in winning bids for two lease areas and a $42 million investment in domestic supply chain and workforce training.

The Department of the Interior today announced results from its wind energy auction in the Carolina Long Bay area, the second major offshore wind lease sale this year.

“The Biden-Harris administration is moving forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the President’s goals to make offshore wind energy a reality for the United States,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Together with an all-of-government approach, we can combat the effects of climate change while creating good-paying union jobs that can benefit underserved communities. Today’s lease sale is further proof that there is strong industry interest and that America’s clean energy transition is here.”

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s lease sale offered two lease areas covering 110,091 acres in the Carolina Long Bay area offshore, about 20 miles off the coast of Bald Head Island. The two winning companies were TotalEnergies Renewables USA, LLC at $160,000,000 and also Duke Energy Renewables Wind, LLC at $155,000,000.

If fully developed, the leases?could result in about?1.3 gigawatts?of offshore wind energy, enough to power about 500,000?homes.

A recent analysis published by the Southeastern Wind Coalition with support from Environmental Entrepreneurs shows that constructing 2.8-gigawatts of offshore wind off North Carolina’s coast by 2030 will result in a net economic benefit of up to $4.6 billion for the state’s economy.

According to The Special Initiative for Offshore Wind’s 2021 Supply Chain Contracting Forecast, offshore wind is projected to create over $109 billion in economic output, with approximately $90 billion of that output focused in the manufacturing supply chain.

Before the leases are finalized, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will conduct an anti-competitiveness review of the auction, and the provisional winners will be required to pay any balance on the winning bids and provide financial assurance to BOEM.

More information about today’s sale, including a map of the lease areas, can be found on BOEM’s website.

Some beach communities are not on board with wind turbines. Last year, Kure Beach passed an ordinance opposing wind energy, while Brunswick County commissioners passed a resolution opposing the installation of wind turbines within 24-nautical miles of the county’s shoreline.